Computers are now part of everyday life and, for most of us, technology is essential to our lives both at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that all pupils must learn if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in the digital world.
The new National Curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge, and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives.
Through the new programme of study for computing they will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, they will develop their ideas using technology, and create a range of digital content.
Throughout years 7, 8, and 9, students get the opportunity to work through a variety of modules covering the breadth of Computing, enabling them to experience many aspects of this fast-moving and important part of both our personal and professional lives.
Students will complete a baseline assessment at the beginning of each year and then receive regular formative assessment and summative assessments for each module to measure their progress.
Students will receive one Computing homework each week to be completed online.
Students have two Computing-related options at Key Stage 4; GCSE Computer Science and the ITQ.
GCSE Computer Science is the more technical of the two and is suitable for students who have performed well in programming and problem-solving related modules during Key Stage 3. It is recommended that only students who are targeted a 6 or above in Maths choose this course.
The Computer Science course has two GCSE examinations in year 11 – one standard paper and one on screen assessment.
ITQ (Information Technology Qualification) is a GCSE equivalent course which is more suitable for those who are looking for a more general look at computer use in the workplace and covers a wide variety modules.
The ITQ course is entirely coursework based and has no GCSE examination at the end of year 11.
Edexcel Computer Science (2020)
This new, up-to-date qualification reflects the fast-changing world of Computer Science. Students will develop the computational skills they need for an exciting digital future beyond the classroom with an exciting, practical focus on real-life programming, developing skills relevant to the future including innovative, practical, future-looking onscreen assessments
OCR ITQ Levels 1–3 in IT User Skills
The aim of the ITQ qualification is to give students the opportunity to develop their skills and competencies in IT from basic desktop technology to the use of communications and mobile technologies. Students can choose the modules they will complete and tailor the course to their individual needs. Can be completed as either a Level 1 or Level 2 qualification.
GCSE Computer Science Students will receive weekly homework consisting of exam style questions related to content studied that week. Students will also be assessed on their comprehension every half term in exam conditions and receive a grade per module.
ITQ students will receive occasional homework as the majority of coursework must be completed under supervised conditions.
Computer Science supports further study in Computer Science A‐Level or vocational equivalents. Students can then progress to courses at university such as systems engineering, software engineering and artificial intelligence.
Career prospects in the computing industry are wide-ranging. In addition to those who aspire to work in the computer industry, there are many others who may choose Computer Science. Study of the subject supports progress in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It develops transferable skills, particularly logical thinking and problem solving.
ITQ can support a future in any career where a good level of digital literacy will be required.
The following books and online resources will be useful in supporting students in their studies:
Teacher of Computing (KS2-KS4)